Abela campaigner put on public payroll days before being appointed PL CEO

The state could have been funding the salary of a top party official and no one is answering questions.


George Azzopardi, one of Robert Abela’s 2020 party leadership election chief campaigners, was rewarded with a full-time indefinite contract with Projects Malta, now renamed Malta Strategic Partnerships Projects Ltd, just a few days before Abela appointed him as the Labour Party’s chief executive officer.

But neither the Office of the Prime Minister nor MSPP CEO Marisa Marmara are replying to questions about whether Azzopardi continued receiving a salary from the agency when he was employed full-time as Labour’s CEO.

If that were the case, the state could have been funding the salary of a top party official.

An investigation by The Shift including documents obtained through various freedom of information requests shows that in February 2020, just weeks after Abela became Prime Minister, Azzopardi was given a full-time job as a manager at Projects Malta. The agency falls directly under the Office of the Prime Minister and was involved in several of the Muscat administration’s major corruption scandals, including the hospitals fraudulent deal.

Azzopardi was recruited on an indefinite contract on 1 February 2020 on a salary of around €50,000 a year. Less than a month later, on 27 February 2020, he was announced as the new full-time Labour Party CEO.

He remained in the post until the last election and returned to Projects Malta in April 2022 after a fallout with Robert Abela.

Asked to explain whether Azzopardi was receiving a salary from Projects Malta during his two years as Labour’s CEO, both the OPM and Marmara, a former assistant to Minister Ian Borg, are refusing to reply.

Both are also declining to explain how Azzopardi was given an indefinite contract with a government agency without a call for applications having been published as required by law.

The Shift is informed that Azzopardi was manoeuvred onto the public payroll with the help of senior government officials.

The Shift is informed that just a few weeks before he was recruited, then-Projects Malta CEO James Camenzuli with the complicity of Permanent Secretary Ronald Mizzi posted a vacancy on the Jobsplus system for the newly created post of a Project Manager.

Even though it was a senior position with a €50,000 salary, only a secondary school level of education, commensurate with George Azzopardi’s level of education, was required.

Asked to state why the vacancy had not been advertised, a Jobsplus spokesperson said that it had “not been necessary since Jobsplus matched the vacancy requirements with job seekers”.

According to the law, gainfully occupied people can still register for an alternative job on Part 3 of the register. This way, when a matching vacancy occurs, employers are obliged to interview those who applied for such a vacancy.

The system is often abused to recruit people without the need to go through a formal competitive process.

Recruitment experts told The Shift that in this case, it appears that Azzopardi was told beforehand to start registering for a specific alternative job, which was later posted on the system by Projects Malta.


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5 days ago

It’s Permanent Secretary Ronald Mizzi once again! The same Ronald Mizzi who has been a permanent feature whenever Minister Konrad Mizzi was involved.

Ronald Mizzi is the same senior public officer who oversaw all the corrupt deals signed on his watch.

Ronald Mizzi has been a key decision-maker in the country’s biggest scandals – the Electrogas dea, the ITS-Db land transfer and the concession of the three hospitals.

It’s no wonder why the Head of the Civil Service Tony Sultana and the Labour Government are so reluctant to take action against Ronald Mizzi!

Francis Said
Francis Said
5 days ago

I believe that 4,900 earned €100,000 plus.
What percentage of these are employed with government entities/departments/government owned companies?

Last edited 5 days ago by Francis Said
5 days ago

Perfectly normal. It’s the MLP way of doing things!

5 days ago

kemm tiflah tisraq flus il-haddiem bob? int aghar minn l-akbar xpm korrott li qatt rat Malta. Sraqtulna l-indentita’, srqatulna t-taxxi li halassna u li qieghdin inhallsu, sraqtulna il-ftit spazji miftuha, x’fadal tisirqu. Partit tal-haddiem mibdul f’muvument KORROTT li l-ghan tieghu huwa li jisraq u jistaghna hu u l-klikka mafjuza li holoq.

Joe l ghasfur
Joe l ghasfur
4 days ago
Reply to  carlos

Ilqat il musmar ezatt fuq rasu sieheb. Il partit li qabel kont niftahar bieh u nhobb ghamluh bejta tal korroti u hallelin. Fejni l ghajta tal perit Malta l ewwel u qabel kollox.

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